New York Times: “Drivers say that they would like to see less clutter and more readability, but there is something that seems untouchable about this layer of information in the landscape.”
The U.S. State Department has banned the courier font from all diplomatic correspondence. “That’ll show ’em,” said a State Department official, who hoped that Times New Roman would be next. “Who the hell do they think we are? Screenwriters? Typists? We’re diplomats first and foremost. And we’ll fuck your shit up without using Courier.” (via Six Different)
And the Whitbread goes to Mark Haddon’s The Very, Very Curious Incident of the Dog Who Was Let Out by the Baja Men in the Morning, Afternoon and Night Shortly After He Was Fed His Meal, which I’ve been meaning to read. Except I can never remember the exact title.
I didn’t realize the Alexander McCall Smith/Irvine Welsh thing had legs, but even in Scotland, they need their “bag of bones”/”entertainment not literature” Vidal/Mailer in-fights.
Andy Hamilton won’t write for BBC1. Hamilton claims that Auntie Beeb has pressured a writer to remove lesbian characters from a script to “incorporate the conservative tastes of focus groups.”
Modern Humorist: “Where are all the R’s? Is it a typographical error? Does the writer simply not like R’s? Or are there mysterious deeds at play, and are the R’s somewhow involved?”
Birnbaum talks with Jonathan Lethem. Birnbaum even gets Lethem to fess that Laura Miller is “making a contribution to literary journalism.” Birnbaum also shoots the goofy gale with Neal Pollack. Among the revelations: “[Eggers] said he didn’t want me along because my stuff was much more confrontational and in your face and aggressive and loud and profane. He wanted to take McSweeney’s in a more respectable direction. And then one day I woke up and my link was off the site. And I wasn’t a McSweeney’s guy anymore. Overnight. My main conduit for communicating over the Internet had been removed, so I had to start my own site.”
And The Chronicle has apparently reached a settlement with Henry Norr.
[1/23/06 UPDATE: It is quite likely that the Henry Norr story will be slipped under the rug. But I think it stands as a remarkable testament as to how a journalist’s outside activities are controlled to a great extent by his employer. As the newspapers continue to cut the coverage and eventually begin to drop, I am wondering if they’ll become even more controlling. Henry Norr, happily, is still writing — largely for online outlets. He can be found contributing reports for Macintouch and is still actively filing no-bullshit Macworld reports from the front lines.]